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One of the most unique gameplay experiences that players can have in the original Dying Light is facing off against or playing as a Night Hunter.
The mode sees two players facing off, with one controlling the game’s protagonist, Kyle Crane, while the other takes the role of a powerful infected that attempts to hunt him down with the help of the normal NPC hordes.
Jumping in to play as the Night Hunter can be very intimidating for new players, so if you want to try it out or get a bit better at it yourself, here is everything you need to know. Welcome to our Dying Light Night Hunter guide.
Key Info Up Front
- Game Mode: Be The Zombie
- Weaknesses: UV Light
- Night Hunter Goal: Kill the other player
Night Hunter Overview
To play as a Night Hunter, you have to select the Be The Zombie game mode from the main menu. This will then match you with a lobby of one or more other players that are survivors.
When you spawn into the match, the other players will be notified that a Night Hunter is invading them. The game will then be set to nighttime, and all of the players will be randomly spawned around the map, and the game will start.
As the Night Hunter, your goal is to kill the survivors and deplete their limited pool of respawns. However, you also have to defend the nest you spawn near, as they will be trying to find it and destroy it.
If you are killed as the Night Hunter and the nest remains intact, you can respawn an unlimited number of times, but once it is destroyed, you cannot. This means that the survivor players can only win if they locate and destroy your nest and then kill you to keep you from returning.
It is also worth noting that you will be alone during these matches as the Night Hunter. There will be the standard NPC infected that you can use to your advantage, but you will be the only player on your team, while the survivors can have up to four players at once.
To balance this out, the Night Hunter is mighty and comes with an array of lethal abilities when used together intelligently.
Night Hunter Abilities
The abilities of your Night Hunter will grow as you continue to play them and get skill points to spend on its various trees. As you do so, you will progress through the Night Hunter’s four stages, each seeing it getting more powerful and offering the player more options to choose from during matches.
Before looking at what players can expect at each stage, some universal abilities are a strong part of the Night Hunter’s tool kit.
The first is the Howl ability, which allows you to shriek to detect where the survivors are across the entire map, allowing you to hunt them down better.
Now, this does come at the cost of giving away your current position, but its benefits vastly outweigh the negative, especially if you mix up your approach to where the survivors are as you go so that they still have a hard time predicting where you’ll be coming from.
The second core part of the Night Hunter’s gameplay is its tendrils. These tentacle-like appendages allow you to swing across the city at incredible speeds. It is by far my favorite part of playing a Night Hunter.
Flying between buildings and zipping through areas generally take a while to parkour through as a human always feels great. It also helps you catch up to the survivors much more straightforwardly with how fast you are.
The final universal ability is Pounce. The Pounce is the primary attack ability of the Night Hunter but requires them to be at full Stamina to use it.
This is because it allows you to leap forward and grab a survivor, killing them by chomping down on their neck. This move is lethal, so you’ll want to get used to using it effectively as early on as possible.
Mutation 0 Abilities
This is the first stage that your Night Hunter will start as and sees it looking like a slightly deformed human with tatters of clothes still draped from its body.
As you earn skill points in this stage, you’ll be able to start unlocking new abilities and upgrading your general capabilities as a Night Hunter. One of the abilities you can unlock at this stage is the Horde Summoner Spit.
Horde Summoner Spit
The Horde Summoner Spit allows you to shoot out a projectile that explodes after a brief pause once it makes contact with a surface. After the explosion, a group of Suicider infected will be summoned to charge at nearby survivors.
This spit is an excellent tool for controlling where survivors go and splitting them up from one another. I prefer using it to drive them to the roofs of buildings, making them much easier to chase down and kill myself while they are distracted.
Another good tactic is using the spit to split them up, hiding in the crowd of infected, and then using Pounce on a separated and vulnerable survivor.
UV Suppressor Spit
At this stage, you can also get the UV Suppressor Spit ability. Like all infected in Dying Light, UV Light is the Night Hunter’s main weakness. This ability allows you to turn off all UV Lights around the projectile for 18 full seconds, leaving survivors within them unprotected.
You’ll quickly find that survivors will use UV Flares to try and defend themselves, but you can wait those out, as they only last from 8 to 12 seconds.
UV Block is used to briefly protect you from harmful UV light and give you an extra chunk of Stamina. I recommend using it for escapes and quick getaways, especially after a Tackle or Pounce, as this will help you get away and recover with an extra boost to your Stamina.
This move is exactly what it sounds like and allows you to punch the ground to deal damage and knockback around you. It is an excellent tool for ambushing survivors and dealing direct damage to them while they are caught up with a horde or are holed up somewhere they think is safe.
As you progress your Night Hunter, you’ll be able to upgrade it further to grant even more benefits when you successfully land one. However, the move has a long recovery time, so if you don’t hit it can spell your doom.
A Tackle is performed by sprinting on all fours as the Night Hunter and driving your shoulder into a survivor. This will send them flying backward while also dealing decent damage. This move takes some time to get a feel for but leads to some enjoyable moments once you do.
My favorite use for the Tackle is to send survivors flying off rooftops. This helps not only split up the group, allowing you to focus the remaining survivors on the roof but also has the potential to deal fall damage to them, possibly even killing them outright.
If careful, you can also use the Tackle to throw players into spikes, killing them instantly. However, take it from me that you have to be careful not to let them dodge, causing you to run into the spikes and die instead.
Mutation 1 Abilities
This ability was added in an update and replaced the Sense Suppressor Spit. It allows the Night Hunter to knock survivors down, lowering their defenses and leaving them immobile for a short while.
My favorite combo for this move is with a Pounce to quickly kill them. However, while they are on the ground, they can still defend themselves from a Pounce with a UV flashlight, so it is best to use both abilities from behind them before they can react to where you’re coming from.
Mutation 2 Abilities
The final type of projectile attack for the Night Hunter, the Toxic Spit, launches a projectile that coats the ground in a substance for a full minute, damaging survivors whenever they stand in it.
This ability is a fantastic tool for controlling where the survivors go. I use it to deny them from going to areas where it is harder to attack, trap them in with other infected, or punish them for camping in one place for too long.
Mutation 3 Abilities
UV Healing allows you to quickly recover some of your health while standing in UV light. The move is reasonably circumstantial, but it can be a life-saver if used well. My favorite use for UV Healing is as a recovery option after missing a Ground Pound to help me stay alive a bit longer so that I can react.
It also can be a useful tool for chasing survivors into safe areas to get the last hit or two you need to kill them or for attacking survivors somewhere where they feel is safe to either keep them moving or make them feel unsafe no matter where they are on the map.
Playing as the Night Hunter
As you grow familiar with everything available to you while playing as the Night Hunter, you will define your playstyle, but there are some general strategies to keep in mind as you learn the role.
One essential part of winning matches as the Night Hunter is knowing how to take advantage of mistakes made by the survivors. This may seem obvious, but you should focus on attacking the survivors with the lowest health as much as possible.
Whether you kill one player enough times to deplete their lives or all of them equally doesn’t matter, so whenever a survivor is vulnerable or if you can identify which one has the worst gear, you should focus on them.
As a Night Hunter, you also want to keep the group apart as frequently as possible. Tackling survivors off ledges or using your spit abilities to keep them apart is a great way to help you focus on one player at a time and keep you from taking high amounts of damage too quickly to react adequately.
Over time, you will find that playing against groups is a lot harder than a single survivor or two, and splitting them up when you attack is a great way to make it easier on yourself.
Using your Ground Pound intelligently once you access it is also essential. Since the survivors you face will primarily be using melee weapons, you’ll want to use the Ground Pound and sometimes tackle to give yourself space when needed.
They can also be used to manipulate where survivors are positioned or kill them with spikes but don’t underestimate their potential for giving you just enough room to make a quick getaway when you need to.
Another pivotal part of playing as the Night Hunter is using your Pounce effectively. It is easily the most consistent and powerful killing tool in your arsenal.
When you get to the point where you can use it effectively, you will have a much easier time punishing positioning mistakes made by survivors, helping you finish up matches quicker than ever before.
To use it to its fullest potential, you’ll have to get used to its distance and how to aim it and figure out strong ways to ambush survivors with it. This will take practice and is mostly up to your playstyle, so stick with it, and you’ll find your preference.
Playing as a Survivor
If you are playing Dying Light normally and get invaded by a Night Hunter there are also some things you should know. Firstly, you should use your strongest weapons the entire time that you are facing a Night Hunter because the mode turns off durability for your weapons so you don’t have to worry about losing them.
While fighting the Night Hunter you should also use your Survivor Sense as much as possible to keep track of the Night Hunter so that they can’t catch you off guard.
Once you know where the Night Hunter is you can better react to what they may be setting up for, or even lure it into ambushes yourself. To counter what the Night Hunter may want to do, always keep your UV Flashlight equipped.
This will allow you to cancel its Pounce if you think it is about to by shining the flashlight on it for just a brief moment. This will also stun it, so you or your teammates can get some decent damage in as well.
If you think the Night Hunter is going to try and Tackle you, you can also dodge that by jumping straight up just before it reaches you. This will again stun it briefly, leaving it vulnerable to damage.
If you want to be more aggressive though, there are some good tools at your disposal as well. First, you have your dropkick. Your dropkick deals a good amount of damage to the Night Hunter and will also stun it, so I recommend using it to start a period of damage with one survivor dropkicking them and the rest attacking right away.
Another thing you can do is get drop attacks. These instantly kill the Night Hunter if they are successful and can be easily set up by baiting the Night Hunter with one survivor down low and a second above, waiting to attack.
You can also try to take advantage of spikes around the map as pushing the Night Hunter into them will instantly kill them as well. However, this approach carries some major risks because if you get hit into spikes you’ll die as well.
I also recommend trying to stay mobile as much as possible during the match unless you are dealing with a horde of infected or the Night Hunter itself.
You have far fewer lives than the Night Hunter, so you should be careful to not get distracted and let it burn down your resources. Also, if you are playing in a group, do everything you can to stay together.
Night Hunter Do’s and Don’ts
- Practice playing as the survivor to learn what players may do to counter your gameplay.
- Practice with your spit abilities, as their lob effects can make aiming them precisely difficult at first.
- Be patient. You have all the time in the world as long as the survivors aren’t attacking your nest yet, so don’t be afraid to take a life here and there until they run out of resources and are easier to take down.
- When a survivor dropkicks, you use the opportunity to hit them with a spit attack or two since it perfectly lines the shot up for you.
- Learn to avoid drop attacks and watch for the signals that survivors are setting you up for one.
- Catch survivors with Pounce during animations to ensure they can’t avoid the quick kill.
- If you down a survivor without their team nearby, kill them off so they can’t be revived.
- Use spit attacks to cover your retreat from a failed Pounce.
- Be aware that survivors can cancel your Pounce with UV Flashlights that will sap your Stamina, preventing you from using it.
- Avoid only using fully charged spit attacks. They can be a quick tool to add to your arsenal if you get used to their aiming while not charged.
- Overcommit to one encounter. Sometimes running away and regrouping is your best option, even if a survivor is close to dying, but you aren’t sure you can close the deal before you die.
- Be afraid to experiment and mix things up. Certain abilities combo better together than others, but mixing up your comboes is a great way to mix things up and catch your opponents off-guard.
- Stay still for too long. Some survivors will have access to powerful ranged weapons that can make quick work of you if you stay in their line of sight for too long.
- Forget about your nest. Without your nest, a single mistake may be your last, so keep an eye on defending it to keep yourself in the match for as long as possible.
Question: Can You Play as a Night Hunter in Dying Light 2: Stay Human?
Answer: No, Dying Light 2 does not have a Night Hunter mode. However, the developers have said that they plan to support the game with years of updates, so it could be added later on. There is also an achievement in Dying Light 2 called Night Hunter for killing a Volatile.
Question: Is Kyle Crane the Night Hunter in Dying Light?
Answer: There are fan theories that Kyle Crane may be the Night Hunter because of a particular ending of Dying Light‘s The Following DLC, but the developers have not confirmed it to be canon.
Question: Can You Play Dying Light without Night Hunter Invasions?
Answer: Yes, there is an option in the game’s settings to disable Night Hunter invasions that can be toggled on and off at any time if you don’t want other players invading your game.
Dying Light has a ton of content to offer players at this point, and playing as a Night Hunter is a fun and unique part of its total package.
If you want to challenge yourself or are looking for a new way to experience the game’s world and gameplay, Be The Zombie mode is a fantastic option that I can’t recommend enough.
It is also a fun mode when playing as a survivor, so don’t be afraid to leave your game open to invaders to mix things up as you play through the game.